Six days after their daughter was born, Jami and Krista Contreras took their baby to Eastlake Pediatrics in Roseville, Michigan. However, the pediatrician they had selected months prior would not see their daughter. Instead, she sent another doctor into the room to let them know that “after much prayer” the original doctor would not accept their newborn as a patient because they are lesbians.
At first, the mothers stayed quiet about their experience. However, the issue weighed on them heavily.
Jami Contreras told the Detroit Free Press:
We want people to know that this is happening to families. This is really happening. It was embarrassing. It was humiliating . . . It’s just wrong.
Dr. Vesna Roi has been a pediatrician for nearly two decades. She sent a hand-written letter to Jami and Krista Contreras. While some would consider this enough of a gesture, the letter contained the typical low-blow non-apology expected from someone who does not truly think they are wrong.
She starts out saying,
I am writing this letter of apology as I feel that it is important and necessary (to keep my practice from going belly-up). I never meant to hurt either of you (even though I totally should have realized my actions would cause harm). After much prayer following your prenatal, I feel that I would not be able to develop the personal patient doctor relationship that I normally do with my patients.
She left out, “Because, I am a bigot.”
Or, did she? She continues,
Please know that I believe that God gives us free choice and I would never judge anyone based on what they do with that free choice.
There it is – the zinger. The “it’s not me, it’s you” line that seems to always accompany these types of “sorry, not sorry” apologies.
What a telling statement. Not only is she lying, and absolutely judging them, she is also making the claim that the very natural condition of the women’s relationship is based on choice. Hey doc, might want to do some continuing education-type reading, there.
Unlike in 22 other states that have laws against doctors discriminating against LGBT families, Michigan’s Elliott-Larson Civil Rights Act does not cover LGBT individuals.
Robert Sedler, a Wayne State University Constitutional Law Professor, told the Detroit Free Press:
There’s no law that prohibits it. It’s the same as the florist refusing to sell flowers for a same-sex wedding.
While the doctor’s actions are not illegal in the state, it does raise questions about ethics surrounding discrimination. The American Medical Association’s (AMA), Dr. Gregory Blaschke, who is the chair of the AMA’s LGBT Advisory Committee, said in a statement:
Respecting the diversity of patients is a fundamental value of the medical profession and reflected in long-standing AMA ethical policy opposing any refusal to care for patients based on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other criteria that would constitute invidious discrimination.
Unfortunately, the AMA’s ethical rules are used only as advice and are not enforced.
Read the doctor’s letter below.
Featured image: via Facebook